Japan PM Suga announces Covid-19 state of emergency in Tokyo, Osaka, Hyogo

TOKYO: Japan's Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga on Friday declared a state of emergency over Covid-19 in the national capital Tokyo and the western prefectures of Osaka, Kyoto and Hyogo.

As per sources who told a leading international daily Xinhua,  The state of emergency, a third of its kind so far declared in the country, will come into effect from Sunday to May 11. The emergency is aimed at curbing a surge in Covid-19 cases during the upcoming Golden Week holidays.

"We must take strong measures in a focused manner while many people are on holiday during the Golden Week to bring the virus under control," Suga said.

Stricter restrictions, such as asking restaurants and bars not to serve alcohol and shutting down major commercial facilities, will be in place.

Osaka, the epicenter of the latest resurgence, has since April 5 been under semi-emergency status, which was expanded to 10 areas including Tokyo, a step promoted by Suga’s government as an alternative to a state of emergency with less economic damage.

The third emergency is largely intended as a short and intensive step to stop people from traveling and spreading the virus during Japan's “Golden Week” holidays from late April through the first week of May.

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